Posted in ECI 830

Collaboration at its Finest

Does technology enhance learning in my classroom? 

I believe that it does, but after our debate on Tuesday and hearing so many different personal points of view, supported data and great insights, I will take a step back and look closer at the inclusion of technology in my classroom. There is always room for improvement! After reading many of the blogs, I am flooded with so many different ways in which technology is being utilized in classrooms. Don’t get me wrong, I have many successes and experiences with technology that work well, but learning about so many other ideas, inspires me to do more and/or something different.

Engage enhance extend wordle

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Thank you Kelsie for your introduction, “I’ve never worked so hard at multi-tasking than I did during that debate.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. 

I think I can speak for many when I say that I could relate to  Andres  entertaining description of a day in the life of a teacher. Twenty five-thirty (in my case 45-50) students and the internet does not work, you have a well planned and thought out lesson that you are attempting to implement and the internet does not work. We have all been there, I’m sure:)

Well done Andres! I’m not going to lie, I wish you had been one of my teachers because you clearly make learning fun, creative and innovative!

I took EC&I 831 in the Fall of 2014. I learned so much in a short time, I felt rejuvenated as a teacher, and I felt that I had a lot to offer. With this innovative new wealth of knowledge, I really look forward to implementing many of the ideas I was hearing about. The project I chose for the class was to create a blog for my classroom, I created a classroom twitter page, and started my class blogging on Kidblog every week. I really thought, “Wow, I’m kind of a big deal!”

big deal

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I have continued with Kidblog and Razkids this year because my students are succeeding with both activities. They rush to the Chrome books when it is their turn to blog or read on Razkids. I can’t remember hearing anyone complaining about this assignment (internet and signing in problems aside). All jokes aside, I realize that “I am NOT such a big deal” and I have a lot to learn still.

 So, I have started by adding GoNoodle and Flocabulary to my list of edtech tools (Thank you to those of you who posted about the sites last week). My team teaching partner added a classroom Facebook page to communicate with parents. She posts messages daily to keep parents updated with events, homework, etc. and we use if to message parents regularly. Also, google translate has come in very handy to communicate with our 2 new Syrian boys who arrived at our school in February. Sometimes they say to me “phone” and I know thay want to try and tell me something in Arabic. The app works well when translating from English to Arabic but doesn’t always send the message from Arabic to English. It would be a great app to have for traveling!

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Many of you commented on how you connect globally through the internet and I have yet to do that with my class, but have always wanted to. I love what Nicole’s Putz is doing with her class by connecting her students through kiva.org. I know my students would love to invest in someone’s future and feel what it is like to “be kind to others” as Ellen would say.

ellen

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I also have a number of concerns and frustrations with technology as many of us argued on Tuesday. Technology certainly has it’s challenges and I appreciated hearing those aspects as well. I can relate to Nicole Putz when she said, “I worry about the physical and emotional “results” that when my students engage heavily with technology at school and then go home to possibly sit in front of a television, computer, tablet or phone for hours on end.”

These students are often in my classroom and I worry about this on a regular basis. Fortunately, as we progress with ECI 830 and prepare for our debates, I learn more ways to teach and encourage my students to balance technology with playing outside, eating healthy foods, being kind to others and to themselves, treating others with respect, spending time face to face with friends and family rather than via text message or snap chat, etc. There are many strategies for implementing a balance of technology into our lives and teaching that to our students. I cannot control what happens at home but I can at least plant the seed.

seed

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I too see the positive and negative effects of technology in the classroom. I will continue to take a step back and look at new ways of making learning fun and interesting. As our debate will discuss tonight, children are “plugged in” on average, 7 hours a day and their brains are becoming wired to need instant gratification. I truly believe that some student’s lack of focus and continuous learning struggles are because of too many hours of being “plugged in.” Educating families and students about these facts is crucial for their development, education, and understanding of their social world around them.

Interesting video to conclude today’s blog.

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Author:

My name is Jennifer and I am a Grade 4/5 teacher with the Regina Public School Board. I am taking my 8th class towards my Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction. EC&I 833 Foundations of Educational Technology: History, Theory, and Practice.

2 thoughts on “Collaboration at its Finest

  1. I just wanted to comment and ask if you have ever heard of Duolingo? It’s a free app that can be used to learn a language. I am just thinking that it might be helpful for your new students who are trying to learn English. I used it last semester as part of my learning project to learn Italian and I was actually able to learn quite a bit of basics from the app.

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  2. Agreed! Duo lingo is great. My students use it as one of their daily 5 stations and they love it. Gamification in a way.

    Like

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